‘Buried like Dogs?’

Pauper death and burial in Victorian Eastville

Elaborate funeral ceremonies became very important to middle-class Victorians, with increasingly meticulous rituals designed to mark the passing of family members. However, for the Victorian poor, things were very different. After the introduction of the 1834 Poor Law Act the customary pauper funeral, subsidised by the parish, came under government scrutiny as a financial and symbolic ‘extravagance’. Instead the need for Poor Law Unions to both save money and demonstrate disgrace in death of […]

Red Notes Choir performance

Catch the Red Notes Choir, who will support the Bristol Radical History Festival by performing on the Ground Floor by the M Shed main entrance. The Red Notes Choir is a Bristol-based socialist choir. They have a repertoire of songs from around the world on historical, union, peace, green and human rights themes.

Green Romanticism

Stephen Hunt will discuss the ecology movement’s deep roots in the Romantic era at the Dorset Radical Bookfair at the Corn Exchange, Municipal Buildings, High St East, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1HF. Industrial capitalism emerged together with the mass exploitation of fossil fuels during the Eighteenth Century. Over the next century it became increasingly apparent that accelerating processes of expansion and extraction threatened many habitats, or even the whole planet. Green Romantic […]

Censured

The prejudice faced by biracial GI babies and their mothers

Censured Front Cover
Mike Richardson’s intriguing account of his aunt, Beatrice Richardson and her biracial daughter Gillian, brings into stark relief the racism and sexism that existed in Britain during and after the Second World War. Sexual relationships between white British women and black American soldiers were regarded with disapproval both in the governing establishment and among many ordinary people. The women, the men and their children faced innumerable obstacles. Censured reveals the extent to which the […]

Nautical Women

Women sailors and the women of sailortowns

miscellaneous events 2019
By invitation of The Friends committee of Bishopston Library, Bishopston Library, Gloucester Road, Bristol BS7 8BN ​ Author Rosemary Caldicott will be telling us about her new book in which she investigated the intriguing histories of nautical women. These include stories of cross-dressing women who went to sea to earn a living and the mad, tragic and often funny consequences they encountered and endured. Living in Bristol, we’re all quite familiar with images of sailing ships – but the focus is […]

Film tie-in event: American Climate Rebels

Visionary grassroots struggle from North America

With post-film discussion with film makers Shaun Dey and Fliss Premra. Description from the Cube Microplex: "A screening of films made by video activist collective Reel News during their tour of North America to see what is happening with a climate denying President in charge of the USA. What they found were visionary struggles, with working class communities of colour getting on with implementing a just transition away from fossil fuels themselves through collective action. In these struggles, […]

[Cancelled] History walk 2: Romantic, Radical and…Reactionary

Bristol Green Capital or Green Capitol?

Update 11/10/2019 Unfortunately, Molly is currently unwell so it is unlikely that this walk will go ahead tomorrow.   This walk explores how ideas of the environment have evolved in the modern imagination. Once described by Marx as the ‘third worst city in England’, Bristol has evolved to be a magnet for environmental activists and contemporary good-lifers. What can the city’s history tell us about environmental struggles, including the right to public green space, the waxing and waning of […]

History walk 1: Wulfstan to Colston and the sinews of slavery

An abolition walk

Starts and leaves outside of the front of M Shed. Our first stop will be outside of the Merchant Venturers’ Almshouses (at the Broad Quay end of King Street), where the Merchant Venturers successfully petitioned for Bristol’s involvement in the ‘African Trade’ in 1698. We will cross Queen Square to Redcliffe Street and on to the Seven Stars. This will feature Abolitionists Thomas Clarkson, Wulfstan and the Quakers. On into Castle Park and Colston’s sugar refinery, past All Saints (where Edward […]

Wild scenes at Cardiff

‘Wild Scenes at Cardiff’ reads the South Wales Echo headline; ‘Blacks Hunted By a Furious Mob’ in the South Wales News. In June 1919, Cardiff was the scene of four days and nights of violent unrest that left three dead, many in hospital, and buildings ransacked and burned by mobs that included soldiers and sailors in uniform, ex-servicemen and women, united in the pursuit of black seamen. Who were these rioters and why they were ‘furious’? Who were their victims? Who did what, when and where? […]

Environmental activism in the 1980s and 1990s

Panel discussion

The present-day ecology movement emerged among the new social movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Its immediate influences were varied. They included the Aldermaston marches of the late 1950s and the impact of the ‘Earth Rise’ photograph taken during the Apollo 11 Moon landing of 1969. The ideas of writers such as Rachel Carson (Silent Spring,1962), E. F. Schumacher, Murray Bookchin and others were also inspirational. In 1972 the ecology movement found early political expression in the PEOPLE […]